natural world (164)

Full Lunar Eclipse April 4th 2015: "Blood Moon"

In our part of the world, the moon will be fully blocked for about 5 minutes at 4:48 AM. I plan to go up on Mount Tamalpais about 4:00 AM.

Only the speediest of skywatchers will have a chance to see the total lunar eclipse rising Saturday: NASA predicts that the total phase of the lunar eclipse will only last about 5 minutes, making it the shortest lunar eclipse of the century.

Early-rising observers all over the United States should be able to see at least the partial phases of the April 4 lunar eclipse just before the sun rises, if weather permits. People on the West Coast will have the chance to see the moon turn an eerie shade of red during totality, which should begin at about 7:58 a.m. EDT (1158 GMT, 4:58 a.m. PDT).  NASA this week unveiled a video detailing the total lunar eclipse, and dubbed the event the shortest lunar eclipse of the century in an announcement on Monday (March 30) in detail.

Observers in other parts of the world will have an even better chance to see the lunar eclipse. Stargazers in Australia, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia will get the chance to see the eclipse on the night of April 4, according to Sky & Telescope. (Sky & Telescope predicts that the total phase of the eclipse will actually last about 9 to 12 minutes starting at 7:54 a.m. EDT.)

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Wooden Topographic Model of Kauai

This was at a ranger station/museum in the Waimea area. Looks like it was done by some sort of computer-generated cutting tool. It’s the entire 25 x 35 mile island of Kauai.

I shot this picture centered (at bottom) on Hanalei Bay—it’s that perfect 2/3-circle. Look at the way the mountains fan out in the same pattern. Na Pali coast on right. I believe the sand you see half-way up on the right is Polihale Beach, end of the road.

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An Ode to Mount Tamalpais

It may be only a few thousand feet high, but nevertheless, it’s a magic mountain.  With its redwoods, meadows, creeks, waterfalls, trails, animals, birds, endless vistas and hundreds of miles of trails, there are lots of us Bay Area residents who love it insanely.

“Hello Lloyd!  You’ve enjoyed my past films about Mt. Tamalpais and when recently we finished making this short film, I thought you’d appreciate this one quite a bit.  It’s about one person’s offering to a mountaintop that had been removed by the military during the Cold War… an offering for its healing.

So… I thought you’d be interested in seeing this 8-minute film “Mountains Made of Chalk, Fall into the Sea, Eventually.”

The synergy of creative collaboration can result in magic beyond our imagining.  Witnessing Genna Panzarella paint this 8×10′ mural of Mt. Tamalpais as it was when it was whole, literally inside of what used to be the mountaintop, is akin to stealing a peek through the kimono of mystery… the misty mystery of impermanence.

The project bears a great resemblance to the process of making a Tibetan Buddhist sand painting (and then blowing it away).…

-gary yost

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“The Omnivore’s Dilemma": You Know That Cheap Beef You Buy At Costco?

Guest editorial by Wayne Jacintho* posted in The Garden Island newspaper July 29, 2013: 

Kauai’s chemical companies (seed farmers) like to tell us they’re feeding the world. Using poisons and genetic engineering, they’ve helped give us an Everest of cheap federally subsidized corn that is fed to cattle, which gives us cheap beef. Since looking into this feeding of grain to a grass-eater, I no longer eat cheap beef. I buy local, and I’d like to tell you why.

My story begins with Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” a book about three sources of meals: American Agribusiness, organic farms, and hunting/gathering. In chapter 4, “The Feedlot”, Pollan purchases an eight-month-old steer in South Dakota and follows his steer to a feedlot in Kansas where it will be fattened for slaughter. He smells the lot’s stench more than a mile before seeing: 37,000 cattle, a hundred or so per pen, standing or lying in a gray slurry of feces, urine and mud, as far as the eye can see.

His steer will exist briefly in this place so different from a farm or ranch that a new name had to be invented: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO, which could not exist without corn that cost CAFOs less to buy than it does to grow, corn that has “found its way into the diet of [cattle] that never used to eat much of it … In their short history, CAFOs have produced more than their share … of polluted water and air, toxic wastes [and] novel and deadly pathogens” and a waste pollution problem “which seldom is remedied at all.”

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Waimea Canyon in Southwest Kauai

The canyon is 10 miles long, and up to 3,000 feet deep. That’s Waipoo Falls, ann 800-foot cascading waterfall. It’s a 2-mile cliff hike to get there (I didn’t do it).

Details  of the canyon on Wikipedia here (check out their panorama).

“…The canyon has a unique geologic history—it was formed not only by the steady process of erosion, but also by a catastrophic collapse of the volcano that created Kauaʻi.…”

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